When Paul Lucker retired he figured he’d volunteer his piano-playing skills in old folks’ homes to entertain the residents.
But the designer and musician got a shock when all of the homes he contacted told him they didn’t have a piano.
Now the 69-year-old, father to Footballers’ Wives star Zoe Lucker, is offering his dexterity on the old joanna to those that enjoy a tune or two.
He said: “My presumption was that old folks’ homes would have a piano. I was completely wrong and I was taken aback.
“When I was young I used to play piano in old folks’ homes. I would do it once or twice a week.
“I found that I had to learn songs from between the wars, so I did.
“These days I’m up on all those songs, as well as new material by Adele and Ed Sheeran. Plus some of the people I’d play to might be younger than me!”
Paul, who ran his own design studio in Honley, has also been a music teacher and, for a time, was keyboard player in a band called Slack Alice.
He got the music bug as an eight-year-old after hearing a teacher play the piano in school assembly. Now, 60 years later, he still has an ancient upright piano at home - along with a Steinway Grand. He plays most days.
Recently he wrote ‘Hands off HRI’, the official anthem for the campaign to keep Huddersfield Royal Infirmary open.
“If there are schools out there with a piano that don’t have a teacher to play it, I’d be interested,” he adds. “I just don’t want to travel too far afield.”
The Lucker household has always been a musical one and it was no surprise to Paul that several of his four children ended up in the creative industries.
Daughter Zoe, 43, best-known for playing arch vixen Tanya Turner in Footballers’ Wives, is currently taking a break from acting to enjoy being a mum.
“She’s seeing how it goes,” said Paul. “It was the right decision to be able to spend a couple of years as a full-time mum. Everything is great with the family.
“We’ve always been a musical household. The five grandchildren all play something or other. It’s hilarious at Christmas. Sometimes outsiders are a bit bemused: our lot are quite exuberant!”
Do you want Paul to play in a care home or a school? Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org